Notes from Jan

Finish Line Fans

April 19, 2018

Sometimes Easter falls in April, the Boston Marathon always, as it did 4 days ago in freezing  rain with punishing winds.

Among the runners were a group of nurses(Caring for a Cure from MGH), including Ashley, one of Jud’s nurses.  They run for their patients and in memory of others.  Ashley wrote she thought about Jud and what he’d endured as she fought to finish the race. Thank you, Ashley.

Stories unfold. One, written by Emily Sweeney in yesterday’s Boston Globe, told of a cancer survivor who finished the race in 12 hours.

Five years ago, Mary Shertenlieb, was “diagnosed with an aggressive form of Leukemia. She ran under the banner Miracles can happen, to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.”

Before the race started her shoes were soaked. “Once she started running, the wind kept blowing her hood off.  Rain poured down her back. About 12 miles into the race, her teeth chattered.  Because of her compromised immune system, she’d been warned to stop if she experienced symptoms like this.   She ducked into a medical tent where one of her nurses suggested she think about getting onto the bus back to Boston.”

Mary determined to finish.   A friend’s dad suggested she go into Dunkin Donuts to get warm, next she called her husband.  She’d made it to mile 15.5.

Her husband, Rich, suggested,”Lets go home, wait for the rain to subside, get warm clothes, come back and you can finish at your own pace.”

So they did.  Around 8:45 p.m. they ran, jogged and walked together to the finish line.

“They followed the trail of orange peels,  smashed cups and porta-potties…they posted updates on social media.  Just after midnight, they ran down Boylston Street together, surprised to see police, volunteers, friends and fans assembled at the finish line, waiting to  greet them.”

After wiping my eyes, I went into God’s tent to warm my flagging spirit, push on to the finish.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress.  And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish.”  (Hebrews 12:1-2a NLT)

It’s not about the pace, but  finishing and helping  each other along the way, with maybe an occasional stop at Dunkins.




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  • Reply Dale Lefever April 19, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    Sometimes God uses the mundane to achieve His miracles – the mundane like Dunkins and, like, us.

    Thanks for nourishing our souls – without the calories.


  • Reply Shirley M Dubeau April 19, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    Thanks for sharing Mary’s story of perseverance and her finishing the race … tears are trickling here, too.

  • Reply Radina Welton April 19, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Persevering until God has finished his creation/transformation in us requires fortitude and patience. Like the framed embroidery work my mother gave me when a young mom with three charges: “Be patient. God isn’t finished with me yet.”

  • Reply wendy lane April 20, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Oh wow – what a story! Brought tears to my eyes … I have so much to learn about perseverance…

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